Live Report and Photos by: Zenae Zukowski
It’s official, MyGlobalMind survived round 8 of 70000tons of Metal. However, this time around, we brought the flu with us and if we’re asked to do this all over again, we would. For the eighth annual biggest heavy metal cruise on the Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas, once again had a sold-out turn of events with 3000 metalheads on board from 75 different countries to see 61 bands perform not once but twice. However, this year we had a special treat when Swallow the Sun performed 3x, making it a total of 123 performances. The four-day voyage departed from the south of Florida in Ft. Lauderdale and led everyone to the Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos Islands and back from February 1 thru the 5th, 2018. Let’s begin with day one – Thursday, February 1st, 2018.
The day kicked off at customs, which of course, felt like an eternity for impatient fans. However, there was a handful who snuck just enough booze on the line to make the wait more entertaining including passing the bottle down giving everyone an equal drunk opportunity. Following security and receiving the set sail pass, voyagers had a welcome greeting and were on their way to the nearest bar. For those who arrived early, had quite a few hours to kill before the first batch that opened the event at 5:15 PM. This freedom gave everyone a chance to drink, unwind and to even blow up their inflatable companion.
After the ecstatic crowd checked in, boarded the ship, and received the mandatory safety precautions, it was time for the festivities to begin. Now, while many including us at MyGlobalMind wanting to see as many to all acts as possible, you realize right from the get-go that it is nearly impossible. With that said, we began night one seeing Primal Fear opening up the Studio B – Ice Rink theater. These German metallers were there to promote their latest effort 2016’s Rulebreaker as they performed new tracks including “In Metal We Trust,” “Angels of Mercy” and “The End is Near,” as well as classic songs such as “Chainbreaker.” Leaves’ Eyes brought their brand new album Sign of the Dragonhead, which released this past January via AFM records to the Alhambra Theater at 6:00 PM. Their set moved right into their new material with songs “Sign of the Dragonhead,” and “Across the Sea.”
While the first night didn’t have the Pool Deck set up, the evening was delayed due to technical difficulties for both of the main theaters – Studio B Ice Rink and Alhambra. By the time Destruction went on, the schedule started to run about thirty minutes to an hour behind. Therefore, the rest of the night was a guessing game between both rooms. Once German thrashers Destruction came on, the room was packed as they brought out a few classic tracks to the platform such as “Mad Butcher” and “The Butcher Strikes Back.”
Swallow The Sun were up next at the Alhambra Theater as they performed the first part to 2015’s Songs From the North, which included tracks “With You Came the Whole of the World’s Tears,” “10 Silver Bullets,” “Rooms and Shadows,” “Heartstrings Shattering,” “Silhouettes,” “The Memory of Light,” “Lost & Catatonic,” and “From Happiness to Dust.” As the evening continued with delays along with memorable performances, Insomnium were up next on the Studio B- Ice Rink stage. Their first set had absolutely nothing to do with 2016’s Winter’s Gate, and everything to do with a mix of their catalog. Their set opened up with the theme song to The Love Boat as the group entered the stage and performed songs including “The Primeval Dark,” “While We Sleep,” “Mortal Share,” Ephemeral,” and “One For Sorrow.” However, once they went into “Weather the Storm,” Mikael Stanne from Dark Tranquillity surprised the crowd as he joined in on guest vocals.
Next up, we were lucky to make it briefly for Rhapsody’s 20th Anniversary Farewell Tour with original members Fabio Lione, Luca Turilli, Dominique Leurquin, Patrice Guers and Alex Holzwarth in the Alhambra Theater. The reunited group dove into tracks from 2000’s Dawn of Victory with songs “Dawn of Victory” and “Holy Thunderforce,” as well as 1997’s Legendary Tales with “Land of Immortals.” Following our brief stay with Rhapsody, it was time to catch Enslaved’s set at the Studio B – Ice Rink Theater. These Norwegian extreme/progressive metallers performed in their traditional near darkness setting as they promoted their latest effort 2017’s E with songs “Storm Son, “The River’s Mouth,” and “Sacred Horse.”
After a much-needed break, it was time to resume the now-late evening to catch Canadian melodic death metallers Kataklysm who admitted that they were invited to 70000tons last minute as they weren’t fully prepared. However, the Ice Rink was full of devoted fans as they went into songs including “The Black Sheep,” “As I Slither,” and “Push the Venom.” While the night was nowhere near young, and all acts were pushing one hour late, it was time to catch Belphegor at the Ice Rink theater who were there to promote their latest effort, 2017’s Totenritual. Following black/death metal tunes, it was time to brighten the super-late evening with the Finland neo-classical/power metal outfit Amberian Dawn at the Alhambra Theater. The group brightened the stage as they brought their latest record 2017’s Darkness of Eternity to life.
At this point, it was well after 4 AM and roughly over 2,500 pizza pies later that we weren’t sure if we should call it a night or pull ourselves together to see Goatwhore at the Ice Rink theater. Of course, we decided to luckily stay for Goatwhore as they concluded night one for MyGlobalMind, which brought our favorite NOLA metallers to promote one of the best albums from 2017 with Vengeful Ascension. After nearly twelve hours of non-stop metal bliss and bumping into fans wishing everyday life was just like this as they held their stuffed or inflatable buddies, it was time to put the successful first night to rest.